The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) today issued a health advisory for the general public because of smoke from northern wildfires. Officials said the levels of smoke in the air are expected to be unhealthy for all people, but especially for those with asthma, lung disease, other respiratory conditions or heart disease as well as children and older adults. LLCHD advises all residents to stay indoors and to avoid strenuous physical activity.
Chris Schroeder, Air Quality Supervisor with LLCHD, said when the tiny particles and gases in smoke are breathed into the lungs, they can cause asthma attacks, worsen chronic bronchitis and emphysema, and cause angina in some people with heart disease.
Residents are advised to keep windows and doors closed and use the "re-circulate" setting when using a vehicle air conditioner. Those who experience difficulty breathing, coughing, tightness in the chest or angina should contact a medical provider.
The LLCHD monitors air quality 24 hours a day, and the Air Quality Index (AQI) at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: air) is updated daily. The AQI is now orange, meaning the air quality is unhealthy for sensitive individuals.
For more information, visit health.lincoln.ne.gov.